Understanding Your Cat’s Way Of Communication And Behavior

The average cat is considered quite intelligent but compared to dogs, it’s trick repertoire seems insignificant. Dogs, like pack animals, will obey orders understood to be the dominant leader of the pack. The cat is a more solitary animal and can understand what it is supposed to do, but choose not to comply.

What a cat is inclined to do and what it can do are very different. By nature and inclination, for example, cats move with grace, delicacy, and tranquility, but their bodies are designed for speed and movement. When establishing a relationship with your cat, keep in mind that it will do what you ask, not because it considers you dominant. , but because it feels inclined to do so.

A well-balanced cat is used to being handled by its owner and is alert, independent and inquisitive. If a cat is timid, dependent and constantly seeking attention, it may have suffered misuse or lack of socialization when it was young, between the ages of 6 to 16 weeks.

How Cats Communicates? 

Communication is a bidirectional process. If you are alert and attentive, you will notice subtle nuances in your cat’s voice and body language. Listen to your cat in the context of its activity at that time and you may be able to link certain sounds with meanings such as hunger or satisfaction.

Vocalization and vowel sounds, miaowing, vary from cat to cat. Siamese cats tend to be very vocal and ‘talk’ to their owners, other cats barely speak. Purring, which can be done by inhaling or exhaling and for remarkably long and uninterrupted periods is generally an indication of satisfaction. Kittens begin to purr from about a week of age. They purr when they feed and their mother knows that everything is fine. It is believed that each kitten has a distinctive and unique purr so that the mother can instantly recognize which of the offspring is communicating.

Fear, anger, and dissatisfaction are expressed in spits, hissing, and grunting. The tone of a growl falls when a cat is hunting to become a low hypnotic rumble. Some cats chitter and salivate with anticipation or emotion when they see something to hunt. High-intensity tense yowls are reserved for communication between cats and are especially noticeable in a female cat on heat.

Body Language Of Cats

When a cat feels good, its ears erect and pointing forward, and its whiskers relax. At rest on a familiar-lap, it can purr and ‘knead’ its legs, opening and closing them just as it did against its mother’s chest when it was sucking.

If its whiskers bristle forward, the ears turn back, the pupils shrink and the fur, particularly along the spine and tail, stands on end, the cat is spoiling for a fight. The extension of the fur can be accompanied by an arched back so that the cat looks as big and threatening as possible. Wide eyes are signs of fear. Whiskers are highly touch-sensitive organs and are sometimes used to make friendly contact with another cat.

Basic Instincts of cats

Cats are nocturnal and can spend up to 16 hours on any day resting if they not actually asleep. As hunters, they are conserving their energy for the rapid bursts of power necessary to pursue their targets. Their overwhelming instincts when they go outside is to hunt small creatures. This can even be detected in the play of young kittens with toys and leaves. Hearing, sight and smell are geared towards the demands of stalking and hunting and these sensors are much more acute than in humans.

Tactile whiskers supplement the other senses, acting as sensors to feel nearby objects. They can also be sued as a friendly whiskers-to-whiskers gesture with other cats. Cats are sociable and will establish a relationship with other animals or become part of the neighborhood cat community if they are allowed to go outside. This community is hierarchical, with unneutered males and females reigning supreme and highly territorial.

Why Do Cats Rub Their Heads?

Both male and female cats gently assert their territorial rights by rubbing their heads against objects and humans and even other animals such as dogs. They leave a trace of a scent that is secreted by a gland located in various parts of the body but particularly around the ears, neck and the back of the head. The scent is also released between the pads of the paws when a cat scratches a tree to sharpen its claws.

Territorial Rights

A cat instinctively becomes a social and hunting territory for itself. This behavior is more marked in unneutered males, whose main purpose in life is to transmit his genes to future generations. He can extend his territory to cover an area of up to 7 miles, maintaining his position in the social hierarchy and priority access to local female cats through fighting. His life can be violent and short.

An unneutered female cat can fight as effectively and cruelly as they do while developing and defending their hunting territory. After 4 months of age, she periodically attracts all the males in the neighborhood and becomes pregnant regularly.

Domestic Implications

For the neutered domestic cat, its own house and garden are the focal points of its territory. An unneutered cat will extend the area and challenge the neighborhood cats. Kittens that are raised together generally coexist happily unless there are too many cats in the neighborhood, which could lead to some territorial markings. If an adult cat enters a home where there are already cats, care is needed and sometimes expert guidance. Among neutered cats, territorial rights can be resolved through some violent vocals, body language and the establishment of a non-violent dominance. If cats are unneutered, it is a different story.

Why Do Cats Spray Their Urine?

The cat marks the boundaries of its patch with a spray of concentrated urine with a very strong smell. It will also do so if it feels threatened or insecure. For example, if strange visitors or animals entered the house. The most common and pungent spray comes from unneutered males, but the entire females spray, especially when they are in heat. Neutered cats also spray, but the smell is usually less offensive.

In extreme situations, marking may involve dropping feces away from litter trays. This is not simply dirty behavior, but dysfunctional and the causes must be established. A cat that constantly re-marks its territory is trying to make sure it is worth something. The wise owners consult with the veterinarian for medical advice. Home treatment of care and affection can solve the problem. If the behavior continues, it can be referred to as an animal behavior specialist.

Neutering Effects On Cats

Neutering dramatically reduces a cat’s urges to exert territorial rights. The territory is confined to an area around the house. Although this will still be defended firmly by a neutered cat of any sex.

In a neutered or castrated male cats, the means to produce hormones that fuel sexual desire, tastes are eliminated. Castration ideally takes place after 4 months of age. It is performed under general anesthesia. No stitches are needed, recovery is completed within 24 hours and there is no noticeable traumatic effect on the cat. In the long term, however, the territorial, sexual and hunting behaviors of animals are modified.

A female cat is neutered or spayed by removing her ovaries and uterus or womb so she can’t get pregnant any more. She no longer comes on heat or attracts all local males. The surgery is ideally carried out from 4 to 5 months of age. Once the cat has recovered from anesthesia, she is generally fine. In the long term, she can become more friendly and placid.

Discarded animals tend to convert food more efficiently and may be less active. If they begin to look chubby, it may be necessary to pay attention to the diet.

Behavioral Problems In Cats

Sometimes it is difficult to recognize the symptoms of stress in lonely feline individuals. Some breeds are more nervous than others. Very tense Oriental cats, for example, can react very badly to strange situations and even the first visit to a cattery can change the personality. Stolid Domestic shorthair cats may be equally upset, but they are more likely to react aggressively by hissing, scratching and biting. Cats probably show stress to a greater extent than dogs, but the first signs are sometimes too subtle for us to recognize.

Symptoms Of Stress

When it feels vulnerable, a cat withdraws itself, and the distant cold is one of the first clues about its condition. A cat about to go into battle tries to look as big as possible, but in distress, tries to become a mouse-sized. The fur is flattened, the tail is bent and the cat crouches. If the situation continues, the cat starts to shake. Vomiting of salvation and defecation can also be signs of nervousness and tension.

A cat can react actively or passively when it is scared. Typical active signs are pupil dilation, back-arching, piloerection, (the hair stands on end) and hissing. A cat can react to any attempt at tranquility, such as vocal intonations or body contact, with greater aggression.

Passive symptoms of fear are more subtle and more difficult to detect. The cat can hide or try to look smaller, putting the ears back and being immobile. The timid cat will start with the slightest movement or unexpected noise. This perhaps because it was abused as a kitten, or simply because it lacked proper socialization. If you breed, it is important to socialize your kittens to prepare them for everyday household life and the noise.

Dealing With A Scared Cat

Mild fear may be overcome by the owner of the cat. A shy cat needs a safe and quiet place to retreat, like a covered bed. Avoid forcing your attention on the cat, wait for it to approach you. Always move slowly, speak softly and evenly, and keep weird or strange situations at bay until it has become more confident.

It is important to identify the cause of a cat’s fear in order to deal with it. This is not always easy unless it is obvious – a one-off visit to the veterinary hospital. There may be an ongoing situation, such as mild mocking behavior by a child, or persistent noise or confinement. Once the cause is established, the cat’s confidence must be eliminated and regained.

You might be able to persuade the cat to overcome its fear. Cats have a highly developed flight response and when faced with a threatening situation, such as being trapped in a carrier or in a car, their immediate reaction is to try to escape. You can control this with relaxing words or gradually by making the cat realize that it should not be afraid to expose it little and often to the situation.

After an initial shock reaction, cats are often settling down in catteries or veterinary hospitals after approximately 48 hours. If they are handled, although gently, during that time, they can associate the handling with the initial fear and bridle each time someone approaches to feed them. Left alone, they usually calm down and soon begin to make overtures to the same people they had hated the day before.

Dealing With A aggressive Cat

If a cat is normally calm and well-behaved suddenly starts scratching and biting, it may be sick, bored or scared, and an underlying cause must be addressed. It is important to train kittens from the beginning that aggressive behavior is unacceptable, even in the play. A firm no, the immediate cessation of the play and a slight tap on the nose every time your kitten bite or scratch should correct this behavior. Remember that a cat likes its independence and if it imposes your attention when it does not want them.